In its natural state, specific stone’s strength is legendary while others react to blunt force, chemicals, and even water. In your home, natural stone floors can beautify your décor and last the life of your house when cared for properly. If exposed to sharp objects and harsh substances, however, it can wear, chip, crack, and even dissolve, requiring expensive repair, removal, and replacing.

Many stones have porous surfaces that can hold stains, and they absorb harsh chemicals that can break them down over time.

Follow these care tips to keep your stone surfaces solid and protected.

Caring for your floor

  • Sweep or vacuum crumbs, dust, dirt, and grit from the floor’s surface.
  • Use protective pads and glides under furniture so that they don’t scrape the finish off the stone tiles. Project the floor from damage made by metal chair legs with chair leg caps.
  • Be quick to wipe up spills. Vinegar, salad dressings, pickle juice, wines, and other acidic foods damage the stone. If left to sit on the tiles for any length of time, any vinegar-based products may dissolve certain types of rock, particularly travertine, marble, onyx, and other calcareous natural stones.
  • Do not expose your floor to excessive heat.
  • Many natural cleaners contain lemon juice, distilled white vinegar, and other acidic products, so don’t trust a product just because the label says “natural.”
  • Avoid heavy grout cleaners, or caustic tub and tile cleaners as they can etch the surface of the stone’s finish. And don’t use liquid abrasives or powdered cleansers for the same reason.
  • Ammonia can mar the stone’s surface and dull its looks.
  • Periodically, clean the stones more deeply with particular products just for stone, or use warm, soapy water or a gentle all-purpose cleaner to lift the dirt and grime from the stone’s surface using a microfiber mop or cloth.
  • Go over the floor a second time with just water, and then dry the floor with a clean, microfiber or cotton cloth.

Reseal your floor

At the outset, and at least once a year after that (more often in high-traffic areas), seal a newly cleaned floor with an appropriate sealant that is correct for the stone and also has the finish you want (glossy, matte, polished, or natural). 

If you’re concerned about the condition of your floors, seek the advice of a stone flooring professional.

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For most people, the idea of moving conjures up dread and stress. There are things to sort, boxes to pack, fears that the dishes might get broken because you didn’t add enough padding to keep them safe, and concern that you’ll lose something, miss something, forget something.

But moving doesn’t have to be all stress and bother. You can make a game of moving and have some fun while you do it. Look for the easiest ways to arrange things so that both packing and unpacking go more quickly.

  • One down – leave things as they are: If your dressers are full of clothes, instead of removing the clothes and repacking them in boxes. Just leave them in the drawers. Grab some plastic wrap—available at most moving rentals stores, big box DIY stores, and office supply outlets—and wrap the furniture to hold the drawers in place. If you’re not sure how to complete this yourself, ask your movers to wrap it for you. And use a garment box for hanging clothes. Just grab a group of hangars and move them from the closet onto the bar in the box. They’re all set to transfer back into the new closet.
  • Two or more – leave utensils and flatware in their trays. Find boxes that will fit the whole tray but slip a plastic or paper shopping bag over the entire thing before you slide it in the box. That way, the bag holds the items in the tray and protects one tray from rubbing on another. When you get to the new home, just move the trays directly into the new drawers. Easy as pie!
  • Three to go – Race to see who can fill the most boxes. Give kids easier options such as games and books and other flat objects that fit into boxes easily. And have a bigger box for stuffed animals and dolls.
  • Four on the floor – use smaller boxes. A tendency for novice movers is to fill large boxes that are then impossible to move. The problem is, you often fill large boxes with a mixture of things that may not even belong in the same room, merely to fill the box. Using smaller boxes more strategically might give you more boxes overall, but will save you time, effort, and an aching back when you reach your destination. Label each box as you go, then stack them like a Jenga puzzle until moving day.
  • Five-minute rule – if you’re trying to pack yet keep your regular life flowing smoothly, spend just five minutes at a time packing. Grab a packing box and fill it up, then go back to putting on makeup or finish your workout.

If moving seems daunting to you, download a moving app to help you stay organized and keep you moving.

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